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Kura 01-07-2009 08:30 PM

Those Darn Toes
I have some serious trouble with keeping my toes pointed forward while riding (not up. I'm fine with that.). It's frustrating, since I feel like I'm progressing really well with everything else in my training, but my toes are just plain stubborn. I try really hard to keep them in more, but they go back to being pointed out horribly just as soon as I take my mind off of them. Obviously, that's not going to work. I've got to think about other things too!

I've seen pictures and videos of myself, and sometimes it looks like my toes are practically perpendicular to my horse's sides (well, my feet are below his sides, but...You get the point). I don't really notice while I ride, I just try to think to point them forward. But that's not really working. I ride in a Dressage saddle, by the way, I have long legs, and I cannot use my heel on my horse, since my heel is nowhere near his side. Not that that's a bad thing. I hear that's what you're supposed to do, really...But anyway.

Does anyone have any ideas of exercises or stretches or something along those lines that I could do that might help me with this predicament? I'd really appreciate all the help I can get!

If you need, I'll scrounge up some pictures to put up of my sad toes. It takes some resizing, which is why I wasn't keen on putting them up if you don't need them...


Jubilee Rose 01-08-2009 07:41 PM

Oh, I feel your pain! My toes are the same way. :evil: Unfortunately, when I first started riding, I was always told, "heels down." So I practiced and practiced that, until I got it. But I was never told "toes in." Its VERY easy to have your heels pushed way down, and your toes sticking out the sides. Hehe.

I found what helped me, was just setting aside some riding time to just focus on my toes. Try it at a walk first, and put your toes where they need to be. Don't really focus on other things, just your toes. I did this on a trail ride, where I didn't really have much to do otherwise, and I told the lady riding behind me to tell me each time my toes pointed out. It was annoying, but it helped.

Also, another thing someone told me, was ... look at the way you walk normally. Do your toes point straight, or do your feet kind of point out. This can have a large effect on how you ride. But for me, my toes point straight when I walk, but turn out when I ride. :lol: Lol. Sooo... maybe that theory doesn't work for everyone.

But yeah, I would suggest just really focussing on your toes for a couple riding sessions. Take a break when you need to, take your feet out of the stirrups and roll your feet around. But keep at it, and eventually it will improve. I found mine have gotten better.

Good luck!

Kura 01-08-2009 08:46 PM

Thank you so much! I really appreciate the advice! I think I'll try that some time when I'm on a trail, like you did. I never thought of doing that before, but I bet it would help me a lot.

And as for walking, I never really payed attention to my toes before, or at least I didn't think much about it if I did. But I do tend to point my toes out a bit. I'll have to work on that, hah.

Thanks so much. Fingers crossed this helps!

Hoofprints in the Sand 01-08-2009 08:55 PM

I totally do this too! It's bad, it was kinda how I was taught at first to do it, just so that I would keep my heels down, but now I have to break the habit. I am constantly readjusting in the saddle and trying to get my legs to wrap further around her belly while still pointing them forward...which then goes right out the window with the riding trot lol...

Good luck, and let me know how you do...and if you have any pointers for me along the way! ;-)

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